California-and Bengaluru-based AI assistance provider to small businesses, FrontdeskAI has added $2 Mn funding to its ongoing pre-Series A round. With this week’s addition, the company’s total funding in this round went up to $4.2 Mn, as the startup plans to scale its product development and also foray into new markets.
The latest funding was led by early stage-focussed investment firm pi Ventures. The startup had earlier raised $2.2 Mn pre-Series A funding from investors, including Blue Pointe Capital and Speciale Invest.
“With the additional funding and the partnership with pi Ventures we are now in a position to deepen our IP and competitive barriers to market entry,” FrontdeskAI cofounder Srivatsan Laxman said in a statement.
Laxman along with Supriya Rao cofounded FrontdeskAI in 2017. While Laxman is an AI expert who earlier founded Scibler that manages appointments directly from email conversations and calendar updates, Rao has over 15 years of experience building natural language processing (NLP)-based business intelligence solutions for various organisations.
The two AI veterans have developed an AI assistance, called Sasha, which is trained to answer calls, appointments — basically all the reception-related tasks — and even texts the solutions to customers query, reducing human intervention. The solution is currently deployed for small businesses and claims to be growing 17% month-on-month, with a 25% increase in subscription revenue.
The enterprisetech startup, FrontdeskAI provides a second layer of intelligence comprising human trainers to groom the AI assistant to speak in the style and tone of the customer brand. The AI assistant becomes independent over time, building knowledge and experience from all its interactions, the company said.
With the latest investment in the startup, pi Ventures’ partner Abishek Surendran and BluePointe Ventures managing partner Sandeep Sardana will be joining the FrontdeskAI’s board. Speciale Invest managing partner Vishesh Rajaram is already on the board.
With the help of AI and related technologies like machine learning, numerous startups have made successful forays into various sectors. AI — which can perform tasks such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making without requiring human intervention — has the potential to add $957 Bn to India’s economy by 2035, management consulting firm Accenture said in January, last year.
According to Inc42 DataLabs, India boasts more than 1,500 AI and big data startups by 2018. In terms of funding, AI and big data startups across sectors raised $5 Mn last year.